Starting in April, Ford’s Sync 3 AppLink platform, which allows smartphone users to employ voice commands in a variety of ways, will offer the highly-popular Waze navigation app. AppLink allows users with connected devices to access most, if not all of their apps on their car’s dash display in a hands-free manner. While most cars have incorporated similar technology with respect to music and traditional Bluetooth-accessible apps, the AppLink platform has taken in-car smartphone accessibility to new heights.
The announcement that the Ford Motor Company will be directly partnering with Waze, one of the most well-known navigation apps in the marketplace, comes amidst mild concern that the crowdsourced app has received heat recently. As Waze directs users to less-congested routes which avoid more obvious highways and frequently used routes, once-quiet neighborhoods have found a significant uptick in the level of traffic on their streets. Still, this is an issue that, while a detriment to residents, continues to benefit drivers who are trying to get into work on time or simply avoid dreaded traffic jams.
We know that people enjoy a range of navigation apps to help them reach their destination safely and more efficiently and have worked closely with partners to make this happen. With the SYNC 3 AppLink platform, drivers can access their favorite apps safely and seamlessly while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. – Don Butler, Ford executive director of Connected Vehicle and Services
While Android Auto has already offered the Google-owned Waze app for in-car access for months, iPhone users will now be able to access their Waze driving assistant through seamless voice commands and in-dash displays. The idea of accessing Waze – which offers several distinguishing features including real-time traffic updates, cop sightings, and construction notifications – on the car’s larger, more driver-friendly display will be exciting for Ford owners who already have access to the necessary hardware.
But Waze is far from the end of the line for Ford’s AppLink offerings. The American automotive giant has announced that it plans to offer apps such as BPMe (a gas station locating and payment app), Radioplayer (a radio discovery and streaming service), and Cisco WebEx (meetings on-the-go), with more apps certain to come in the not-too-distant future.